Hundreds of residents in slum areas of the Zambian capital on Monday held protests and looted foreign-owned shops over allegations that foreigners were behind a recent spate of ritual killings.
At least seven people have reportedly been killed in the George and Zingalume neighbourhoods of Lusaka in recent weeks, with body parts such as ears, hearts and penises removed from the victims.
“Residents of Zingalume and George are looting shops belonging to foreigners… on suspicion that they are involved in the recent murders,” police spokeswoman Charity Chanda said in a statement.
“Officers in full riot gear have been deployed in the area.”
Rwandan refugees run many of the shops in the affected parts of the city, and residents have accused them of using the body parts for witchcraft.
A Rwandan man who declined to be named told AFP that they were not involved. “We are living in fear,” he said.